Presidential candidate Joan Freeman says she feels the public may be ‘bemused’ by the the race so far.
The Independent Senator, and founder of the Pieta House mental health charity kicked off her campaign trail in the City earlier today.
She told WLR News that the public will get a better picture of the candidates once the debates kick off. “I’d say the public is a little bit bemused. It’s not until the public start listening to these radio programmes, watching the debates that they will get a true picture of who is the right candidate.”
Senator Feeman says it’s “very difficult to be a candidate, it’s very difficult to put yourself out there. We’re applying for one of the most important jobs in the country. And like any important job, who is the right candidate? What’s their credentials like? What have they done in the past that can prove that they can do something in the future? Those are very important questions for people to be asking.”
Senator Freeman said mental health services are central to her campaign. “I was down in Wexford and Waterford last year bringing the Minister for Minister for Mental Health and saying ‘Would you look at this?’ I had no idea I was running for anything at that point.
“It is something that is so keenly important to me. I’ve spent the last two years bringing a small piece of legislation through the Seanad about preventing children from being placed in adult psychiatric wards.
So people know this is something very close to my heart.”
— Joan Freeman (@SenJoanFreeman) September 24, 2018
It looks as though we have the final line up of Presidential candidates.
No one else will be nominated through the county council route making it very difficult for anyone else to get on the ballot.
The final meetings to nominate a candidate before the window closes on Wednesday were held this morning with no candidate getting the needed support of four local councils.
Gemma O’Doherty secured the backing of Laois county council. But Donegal, Sligo, Kildare and Cork County Councils all elected not to back anyone in the Presidential race.
It’s unlikely anyone will come through the Oireachtas route for nominations with TDs and Senators unable to agree on a candidate.
So that leaves a field of 6 – Michael D Higgins, Sean Gallagher, Joan Freeman, Gavin Duffy, Liadh Ni Riada and Peter Casey.
Nominations close at noon on Wednesday.